MORGANTOWN -- When Wednesday morning dawned and the fax machine inside the Puskar Center was warming up, West Virginia had 17 players committed to the 2011 recruiting class.
When the day had ended and that fax machine spit out its last signed National Letter-of-Intent, there were 17 signatures and only two developments.
One player changed his mind and opted for another school, and one undecided player picked the Mountaineers over Big East rivals. Apart from that, things were stable, and with reason.
The eight defensive recruits were all recruited by the defensive coaching staff, which returned intact following the offseason coaching change. Six players committed before New Year's Day, and the other two were considering the Mountaineers well before that.
Of the nine offensive recruits, five were recruited specifically by the new offensive staff. The two receivers, an offensive lineman and the tight end who were committed before the change stuck with the new regime.
All in all, the fact Coach Bill Stewart would coach those players just one year - and many of them for not one snap - didn't matter all that much. Not to the Mountaineers. Not to the recruits. Not even to the opposition.
"I didn't anticipate any of that and we never encountered any of that," Stewart said in his final signing day press conference as the WVU coach. "I think it speaks volumes for the staff and for where we are as a program and what we've done in the past."
WVU signed eight fewer players than the NCAA allows and Stewart said the philosophy was intended "to have a few left over. Maybe next year we'll do the same thing."
The Mountaineers will actually welcome 23 new players. Six enrolled in January and will be available for spring practice. The five on scholarship count toward the 2010 recruiting class.
Offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen, who will replace Stewart as head coach in 2012, said WVU was active until the end.
"There were guys we were calling (Tuesday) night that we didn't get," said Holgorsen in his first signing day press conference.
Holgorsen and his offensive staff - incumbent wide receivers coach Lonnie Galloway and newly hired running backs coach Robert Gillespie, inside receivers coach Shannon Dawson and offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh - recruited five players who signed Wednesday.
Gilllespie, Dawson and Bedenbaugh were hired Jan. 3.
"I thought it was fine," Holgorsen said. "There's nothing stable about recruiting. To get the guys we got was an everyday battle and that's just the way it is.
"There are 100-some other schools doing the same thing we did, and don't think for a minute our guys' phones weren't ringing until late (Tuesday) night."
George Washington tight end Cody Clay, who Stewart said could develop into an offensive lineman, Florida receivers Dante Campbell and K.J. Myers, and Parkersburg offensive lineman Justin Johnson committed to the previous offensive staff.